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Minister Choe, Swedish king celebrate exhibition on Korean culture

STOCKHOLM ― South Korea’s Culture Minister Choe Kwang-shik on Saturday promoted the country’s traditional culture at the opening ceremony of a Korean antiquities exhibition room at a museum here.

The Korean room in Sweden’s Museum of East Asia in Stockholm displays 160 of 350 Korean artifacts owned by the museum, most of which are ceramics.
Visitors look around Korean antiquities at the newly opened Korean room at the Museum of East Asia in Stockholm on Saturday. (Yonhap News)
Visitors look around Korean antiquities at the newly opened Korean room at the Museum of East Asia in Stockholm on Saturday. (Yonhap News)

“The Korean room is our project to promote relations between the two countries further following the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties in 2009,” Choe said during a ribbon-cutting ceremony which was also attended by King Carl Gustaf of Sweden.

“Today’s opening has significance as it is the first South Korean exhibition hall in Northern Europe,” he added.

The Swedish king emphasized the deep friendship between the two countries in his congratulatory message, citing his grandfather’s participation in the excavation project of an ancient tomb in Gyeonggju, some 371 kilometers southeast of Seoul, in 1926.

The antiquities in the Korean room also include donations from Gustaf VI Adolf, who was a devoted archaeologist and served as King of Sweden for 23 years until his death in October 1950.

After the ceremony, Choe showed the current king around the exhibition while explaining aspects of Korean culture.

Choe, also a former head of the National Museum of Korea, invited the king to visit the national museum during his planned visit to Seoul in May, saying “It would be a good opportunity to see rare genuine Korean golden crowns.”

Gustaf said he appreciated the invitation, South Korean officials said.

The Korean room was designed by Hwang Du-jin, a famous architect of hanok, the traditional style of Korean house, and built with financial support from the Korea Foundation, affiliated with the foreign ministry.

Saturday’s opening brings to 23 the number of venues exhibiting Korean antiquities in foreign museums built with support from the foundation.

Founded in 1926, the Swedish museum holds about 110,000 relics from East Asia. 

(Yonhap News)
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